Nurses’ Perspectives on the Geriatric Nursing Practice Environment and the Quality of Older People’s Care in Ontario Acute Care Hospitals
Cultivating hospital environments that support older people’s care is a national priority. Evidence on geriatric nursing practice environments, obtained from studies of registered nurses (RNs) in American teaching hospitals, may have limited applicability to Canada, where RNs and registered practical nurses (RPNs) care for older people in predominantly nonteaching hospitals.Purpose
This study describes nurses’ perceptions of the overall quality of care for older people and the geriatric nursing practice environment (geriatric resources, interprofessional collaboration, and organizational value of older people’s care) and examines if these perceptions differ by professional designation and hospital teaching status.Methods
A cross-sectional survey, using Dillman’s tailored design, that included Geriatric Institutional Assessment Profile subscales, was completed by 2005 Ontario RNs and registered practical nurses to assess their perceptions of the quality of care and geriatric nursing practice environment.Results
Scores on the Geriatric Institutional Assessment Profile subscales averaged slightly above the midpoint except for geriatric resources which was slightly below. Registered practical nurses rated the quality of care and geriatric nursing practice environment higher than RNs; no significant differences were found by hospital teaching status.Conclusions
Nurses’ perceptions of older people’s care and the geriatric nursing practice environment differ by professional designation but not hospital teaching status. Teaching and nonteaching hospitals should both be targeted for geriatric nursing practice environment improvement initiatives.